OUCH! Marriott Eliminates Easy Way To Obtain Elite Status

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Marriott is the world’s largest hotel company with over 5700 properties, 1.1 million rooms, and a portfolio of 30 brands.

The properties also have a large number of conference rooms and Marriott makes it fairly easy to book events using these rooms. In fact, THIS WEBSITE is dedicated, strictly, to booking these events.

EARN ELITE NIGHT TRICK

Generally, for every night that you stay in a hotel, you earn one elite night.

For reference, here are Marriott status level requirements:

Member: 0-9 nights/year
Silver Elite: 10 nights/year
Gold Elite: 25 nights/year
Platinum Elite: 50 nights/year
Titanium Elite: 75 nights/year
Ambassador Elite: 100 nights (+ $20K annual qualifying spend)

Prior to 2018, Marriott Rewards members could earn an unlimited number of elite nights (per year) by booking a meeting. For every meeting you booked, you would earn 10 elite nights.

In other words, you could book 5 meetings in a year, earn 50 elite nights, and thus earn Marriott Platinum status which has a host of benefits!

This created an “opportunity” for members who wanted to earn status, without actually staying 25, 50, 75, or 100+ nights in a hotel. And it would, perhaps, cost less than actually paying for nights in a hotel.

For example, I’ve heard of people booking meetings for less than $100.

$100 for 10 elite nights or $100+ per night x 10 nights in a hotel? Your choice!

MARRIOTT CHANGES THE RULES

Well, in 2018, Marriott changed the rules to only allow members to earn 10 elite nights annually from meetings (i.e. 1 meeting). That, obviously, isn’t as lucrative.

Well, according to LoyaltyLobby, it appears the rules have changed AGAIN…

Per the Marriott Website:

Beginning January 1, 2020: Members will no longer earn ten (10) Elite Night Credits for the first event of the calendar year with Marriott Bonvoy Events. This change does not affect the current points/miles earn structure Members who hold qualifying events at participating properties will continue to earn one (1) Elite Night Credit for every twenty (20) room nights actualized up to a maximum of twenty (20) Elite Night Credits per contract.

FINAL STAMP

I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise as many hotels and airlines are becoming aware of their own “loopholes.”

Marriott members will continue to earn one elite night for every 20 room nights booked, up to 20 elite nights per contract. Again, that’s (obviously) not as lucrative.

Personally, I’ve never booked one of these meetings because I stay in hotels fairly often but I can see the value proposition in booking a meeting.

You still have a few days remaining in 2019 to plan a meeting at a Marriott property to earn 10 elite nights, but unfortunately starting in 2020, this trick will be dead.

Were you aware of this trick? Have you ever booked a meeting/event at a Marriott property?

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